£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


 

BUY NOW 

Crotchet  

Beniamino Gigli – The Gigli Edition, Volume 12
Jacques E. HALEVY (1779-1862)
La Juive, Act IV: Rachel, quand du Seigneur [4:49] 
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 4 December 1946
Edouard LALO (1823-1892)
Le Roi d'Ys, Act III: Puisqu’on ne peut...Vainement, ma bien-aimée! [3:27] 
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 4 December 1946
Francesco Paolo TOSTI (1848-1916)
Parted! [3:27] 
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 4 December 1946
Alan MURRAY (1890- )
I'll walk beside you    [2:41] 
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 4 December 1946
Salvatore CARDILLO (1874-1947) 
Core ‘ngrato [3.59]
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 13 December 1946
Jules MASSENET (1842-1912)
Manon, Act III: Je suis seul!..Ah! Fuyez, douce image [4:44] 
Beniamino Gigli, tenor
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 13 December 1946
Werther, Act III: Pourquoi me reveiller?  [3:08] 
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 13 December 1946
Rodolfo FALVO
Dicitencello vuje  [3:19] 
Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 13 December 1946
TRADITIONAL
Adeste fideles [2:44] 
Kitty Wilson, harp/Herbert Dawson, organ
Studio orchestra/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 26 November 1947
Franz GRUBER (1787-1863)
Silent night, holy night  [2:32] 
Kitty Wilson, harp/Herbert Dawson, organ
Studio orchestra/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 26 November 1947
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Ellens Gesang III, D. 839, "Ave Maria" [4:27] 
Kitty Wilson, harp/Herbert Dawson, organ
Studio orchestra/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 26 November 1947
Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945)
Cavalleria rusticana: O Lola, "Siciliana"  [2:47] 
Kitty Wilson, harp
rec. 26 November 1947
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Reviens mon amour [Etude No. 3 in E major, Op. 10] (arr. M. Melfi) [2:34] 
Studio orchestra/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 27 November 1947
Santiago CITTADINI
Ninna nanna  [2:58] 
Studio orchestra/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 27 November 1947
Francesco Paolo TOSTI (1848-1916)
Segreto  [4:44]
Studio orchestra/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 27 November 1947
Santiago CITTADINI
Nostalgia d'amore [3:21] 
Studio orchestra/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 27 November 1947
Alberto WILLIAMS
Vidalita, Op. 45, No. 3  [2:49] 
Studio orchestra/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 30 November 1947
Carlos Lopez BUCHARDO
6 Canciones al estilo popular: Cancion del Carretero [3:22] 
Studio orchestra/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 30 November 1947
May Hannah BRAHE (1885-1956)
Bless this House  [2.50]
Studio orchestra/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 30 November 1947
Arthur A. PENN
Smilin' through  [2:23] 
Studio orchestra/Rainaldo Zamboni
rec. 30 November 1947
Beniamino Gigli (tenor)
accompaniments as above
NAXOS 8.111101 [67.05]



Gigli’s London recordings of 1946-47 are, frankly, an odd bunch. There are a few operatic arias, a lot of popular songs, some in English, and some Christmas pieties. The thing that struck me forcefully, though Alan Blyth is silent on the subject in his notes, is that some of these songs were geared to the John McCormack market. The Irish Count had recently died and HMV clearly saw this as an opportunity for the star tenor Gigli to reprise some of the songs associated with him. It really is extraordinary to hear Gigli in I’ll Walk Beside You, in which his timbre attempts – unsuccessfully – to mimic McCormack’s to such an extent that I’m convinced HMV sat him down with the Irishman’s recordings of this and Bless This House and asked him to pay due homage. He was certainly never less like Gigli and more like McCormack than in these sessions.

The commercialism of the project was undercut by Gigli’s very open English vowels and the uncomfortable nature of Dead Men’s Shoes repertoire – he may have been a congenial singer of popular song but no one – but no one – could sing these like McCormack and it was futile of HMV to make him, still less to mimic the Irishman’s brogue.

What else do we have in this mixed salad of a disc? Halevy’s La Juive, which Gigli never sang on stage. There’s heft here, certainly, but also honey. There’s a hint of constraint at the top of the range but fine sustenance at the bottom and an especially fine ending to the aria. His sotto voce illumines the Lalo but this operatic brace was followed by the popular songs in English to which I referred above. Fortunately over a week later he was back in Studio 1, Abbey Road and back with Cardillo – powerful and thoroughly manly – as well as Massenet, where there is delicacy as well as despair and where the mezza voce is subtly deployed.  His Pourquoi me reveiller? is really rather overpoweringly Italianate but taken simply on these terms, impressive.

The Neapolitan songs are naturally meat and drink to him – the Falvo is exemplary – but one senses his relief at being allowed to essay Mascagni after a diet of Christmas songs in the 26 November session. I’m not sure how he viewed a running order, if one follows the matrices, of Adeste fideles, Silent Night and Ave Maria but the records were successful. Is Alan Blyth right in thinking that they were ready for the Christmas market? It seems like a quick turnaround.

There’s no escaping the uneven nature of these songs. Of all the Gigli volumes I’ve experienced thus far this is really the least important, but completists will need it and it has been excellent engineered and documented. Don’t blame Gigli too much for his recorded repertoire.

Jonathan Woolf

see also Review by Goran Försling 

BUY NOW 

Crotchet  

 

 

 



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable Arcodiva
British Music Soc.
CDAccord
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter


Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter

Return to Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.